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Posts Tagged ‘conversion rate optimization’

Search Marketing: 3 common mistakes marketers make using Google AdWords

May 17th, 2013
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Through testing with our Research Partners, I’ve discovered a few common mistakes marketers make when crafting paid search campaigns using Google AdWords.

So, in today’s MarketingSherpa blog post, my goal is to provide you with a few fundamentals  to aid  paid search marketing efforts and, hopefully, help you avoid a few pitfalls along the way.

 

Mistake #1: Grouping all keywords into one ad group

Keywords are the heart of your ads and relevance is their soul.

So, if you lump all of your keywords into one ad group, the impact will be some keywords become highly relevant to the ad group while others are not.

This is a common mistake marketers make under the guise that the tactic will boost impressions. It will – but this approach is more expensive and those less relevant keywords that boost impressions are also likely to underperform.

Think of it this way … would you run an ad for plumbing fixtures in People magazine with the expectations that it will perform like an ad for the latest celebrity perfume line?

 

Mistake #2: Not testing ads

Another common mistake marketers make is not testing their ads.

Although testing is something we live and breathe every day at MECLABS, it’s important to understand in digital marketing, there are no sacred cows. Speculation on campaign performance is for the birds – unless you test, you’ll never discover what really works.

So, my suggestion is that you test. With AdWords, having two or more tests running is ideal as there is no other way to effectively benchmark an ad’s performance efficiently.

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Test Planning: Create a universal test planner in 3 simple steps

May 2nd, 2013
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One of my responsibilities as a Research Analyst is to manage ongoing test planning with our Research Partners and at times, keeping tests running smoothly can be a challenge.

This is especially true when you consider testing is not a static event – it’s more like a living, breathing continuous cycle of motion.

But even with so many moving parts, effectively managing test plans can be made a little easier with two proven key factors for success – planning and preparation.

Today’s MarketingSherpa blog post is three tips for test planning management. Our goal is to give marketers a few simple best practices to help keep their testing queue in good order.

 

Step #1. Create

Creating a universal test planner everyone on your team can access is a great place to start.

For our research team, we created a universal test planner including:

  • Results from prior testing with our Research Partner
  • Current active tests
  • Any future testing planned
  • A list of test statuses definitions that everyone on the team understands – (test active, test complete, inconclusive, etc.)
  • A brief description of what is being tested (call-to-action button test, value copy test, etc.)
  • A list of who is responsible for each task in the test plan

 

Step#2. Organize

As I mentioned in the previous step, the status of a test can change and, based on the results, so will the ideas and priorities for future testing.

Some tests will move forward in the queue, and others will be pushed back to a later time.

So, to help keep our team informed of changes in the testing environment, we update the planner throughout the day and in real time during brainstorming sessions based on results and Partner feedback.

This allows us to focus our research and testing strategy efforts on expanding on discoveries versus chasing our tails to keep up-to-date.

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Lead Generation Optimization: How Expedia CruiseShipCenters’ increased previous customer conversions 22% by removing its lead capture form

March 1st, 2013
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Optimizing form fields in emails can be tricky as sales and marketing departments don’t always agree on how to create an effective lead flow process that captures important customer information while minimizing elements of friction.

So, today’s MarketingSherpa Blog post will share two case studies featured at MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2013 and how one marketing team increased its conversion rate 22% by removing its capture form. Our goal is to share with you some real-world email campaigns you can use to aid your lead generation optimization effort.

First, let’s get some backstory on the role segmentation played in these case studies …

According to Dave Mossop, Manager of Interactive Marketing, Expedia CruiseShipCenters, segmenting between prospects and return customers early on in the campaign was key to allowing the team to offer more relevant content in its messaging.

“We did a very simple split of prospects versus customers and that alone gives you enough information to talk to these audiences very differently,” Dave explained.

By segmenting between prospects and return customers, the team was able to deliver a greater relevance for:

  • Price points – Lower for new prospects and higher for return customers
  • Itineraries – Specific destinations for new prospects and a broader range of destinations for return customers
  • Information – Answer first time cruise information for new prospects and explain the benefit of “Why book with us?”
  • Special offers – Exclusive bonus offers for prior customers

“As our team grew, we started going one level deeper by going to customer segments,” Dave explained.

Additional segmentation of past customers allowed the team to:

  • Focus messaging, sales offers and itineraries
  • Discover upsell and cross sell opportunities
  • Prevent down-selling to luxury cruise clients

The team took its segmentation efforts even further by grouping past customers based on previous cruise lines. Expedia CruiseShipCenters discovered past customers were likely to book on the same cruise line again.

By understanding past customer behaviors, the team was also able to:

  • Promote cruise line loyalty program offers and exclusives
  • Write content from perspective of experience

“We see phenomenal results as we get completely relevant and completely personal with the customer we have this data on,” Dave concluded. “Personalization makes a difference, but who we send to matters even more.”

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